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Reaching New Heights with Iron-Base PCB

Are you interested in becoming knowledgeable about iron-based PCBs? Is it your goal to learn how to make iron-based PCBs, what benefits they offer, and where you may put them to use? If that’s the case, you’ve found the ideal site! Deep exploration of iron-based PCBs is our focus. In this article, we’ll deeply dive into iron base PCB, how to make it, what it can do, and how to choose one. Thus, if you want to learn more about iron base PCBs, this is the best article for you!

Iron Base PCB: Definition

An iron-based printed circuit board (PCB) is a circuit board that uses Iron as a substrate material instead of standard FR4 or similar materials. The metal core may be an iron alloy or copper, with copper versions being the most prevalent.

Manufacturing Process of an Iron Base PCB

Iron PCB manufacturer
Iron PCB manufacturer

Here are the steps involved in the manufacturing process:

1. Designing the PCB:

The designer creates the circuit’s schematic and converts it into a physical layout optimized for a specific application, size of components, power requirements, and heat dissipation requirements.

2. Choosing the Metal Core:

The metal core consists of aluminum, copper, or Iron. In this case, Iron is the metal core. The thickness is usually between 0.8mm to 3.0mm.

3. Preparing the Metal Core:

Clean the metal core with a degreasing agent to remove dirt or oil from the surface. Next, coat the metal core with a layer of copper using electroless plating, a chemical process that deposits a thin layer of copper using a reducing agent.

4. Applying the Photoresist:

Apply the light-sensitive material (photoresist) to the copper layer using screen printing. The screen lets the photoresist pass through the areas where the designer intends to have the circuit pattern.

5. Exposing the PCB:

UV light passes through a film containing the circuit pattern, exposing the photoresist in the required areas. The areas exposed to UV light harden and become insoluble in the developing solution.

6. Developing the PCB:

Placing the PCB in the developing solution dissolves the areas of the photoresist not exposed to UV light, leaving behind the circuit pattern on the surface of the copper layer.

7. Etching the PCB:

The engineer places the PCB in an etching solution which dissolves the unwanted copper from the surface of the metal core. It then leaves behind a clear circuit pattern on the surface of the metal core.

8. Removing the Photoresist:

The manufacturer then removes the remaining photoresist on the surface of the PCB using a solution that dissolves it. This action makes the circuit pattern visible.

9. Drilling Holes:

Next, the engineer drills holes for components into the PCB using a CNC drilling machine at precise locations and depths.

10. Plating the Holes:

This step involves plating the holes with a thin layer of copper to provide electrical conductivity using electroplating.

11. Applying Solder Mask:

Next, the operator applies a protective layer called the solder mask to the surface of the PCB, using a process similar to screen printing. The solder mask covers the copper traces to prevent oxidation or corrosion and also solders bridges between adjacent components during the soldering process.

12. Applying Surface Finish:

Applying the metal surface finish to the exposed copper traces and pads on the PCB’s surface provides a protective layer that prevents oxidation and ensures the PCB’s long-term functionality. Different surface finishes include electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) and hot air.

Why Iron Base PCB?


Iron base PCB has several advantages over typical PCBs. The following are the key benefits of iron base PCBs.

1. Eco-friendly

Iron-based PCBs are recyclable and beneficial to the environment since they comprise Iron and other metals. Therefore, they are more environmentally friendly than non-recyclable PCBs, such as FR-4 or ceramic.

Moreover, iron-based PCBs use less energy than other PCBs to manufacture, which boosts their energy efficiency and reduces their carbon footprint. These characteristics make iron-based PCBs an environmentally preferable option.

2. Excellent Heat Resistance

Iron base PCBs are particularly resistant to heat. As a result, they can resist high temperatures without losing their electrical characteristics or deteriorating. This feature makes iron-based PCBs appropriate for applications requiring resistance to high temperatures.

For instance, iron-based PCBs are extensively applicable in automobile applications, where engine compartment temperatures can approach 150°C. Additionally, they can survive these high temperatures without problems, guaranteeing that the electrical components continue functioning normally.

3. Good Thermal Conductivity

Iron base PCBs possess excellent thermal conductivity, which refers to the material’s ability to transfer heat from one point to another. Iron base PCBs exhibit much higher thermal conductivity than other PCBs, such as FR-4 or ceramic PCBs. Thus, iron base PCBs are suitable for high heat dissipation applications.

For instance, LED lighting applications commonly use iron base PCBs where efficient heat dissipation from the LED is critical. Additionally, iron base PCBs are applicable in power electronics, where high current flows generate substantial heat. The high thermal conductivity of iron base PCBs aids in dissipating this heat, thereby ensuring that the components operate within their safe temperature range.

4. Magnetic Conductivity

Iron base PCBs are magnetically conductible. Magnetic conductivity refers to a material’s capacity to conduct magnetic fields. Iron base PCBs have a high magnetic field due to the combination of Iron and other metals in their construction. Iron base PCBs are therefore appropriate for uses that call for magnetic conductivity.

In motor control applications, for instance, where magnetic fields are necessary to regulate the rotation of the motor, iron base PCBs are frequently applicable. Furthermore, Iron base PCBs can offer the required magnetic conductivity for effective motor operation.

5. High Insulation Performance

Iron base PCBs have excellent insulation performance. Insulation performance refers to the ability of a material to prevent the flow of electricity through it. Iron base PCBs combine Iron and other metals, which makes them highly resistant to electrical current. This feature makes iron base PCBs suitable for applications that require high insulation performance.

For instance, iron base PCBs commonly apply to power electronics with high voltage and current levels. Iron base PCBs can provide the necessary insulation to prevent any electrical leakage or shorts, thus ensuring the safety and reliability of the electronic system.

What to Consider When Choosing an Iron Base PCB

Material for Metal Core PCB

When it comes to selecting the right iron base PCB for your application, the following are the factors that you should consider:

1. Copper Thickness and Trace Width:

The amount of current that can flow through the traces on your PCB significantly depends on the thickness of the copper within it. Higher current flow is possible with thicker copper, which is crucial for power electronics applications. However, the width of the traces is equally essential to thickness. Narrower traces offer more resistance, which can cause overheating and reduced performance. As a result, it’s crucial to ensure that the copper thickness and trace width are ideal for the application in question.

2. Power Dissipation and Heat Generation:

It would be best to consider your circuit components’ power dissipation and heat generation when choosing an iron base PCB. Power electronics components produce a lot of heat, so picking a PCB that can efficiently disperse this heat is crucial. Iron base PCBs are famous for their exceptional thermal conductivity, but it’s essential to ensure that the thermal design of the PCB is ideal for your specific application. Checking your component placement, heat sink application, and PCB layout to ensure airflow are all examples of this procedure.

3. Dielectric Loss and Thermal Expansion:

The dielectric loss and thermal expansion of your PCB substrate may also impact your circuit’s performance. Dielectric loss is the quantity of energy lost when we subject a substrate to an electrical field. A higher dielectric loss may result in a rise in heat production and a decrease in performance. Similarly, thermal expansion describes how much the substrate expands or contracts due to temperature variations. Over time, this may cause the components to experience stress and lose reliability. Therefore, it is crucial to use a PCB substrate with low dielectric loss and regulated thermal expansion to achieve optimum performance and dependability.

Applications of Iron Base PCB

The following are the industries that frequently use iron-based PCBs:

1. Automotive: Iron-based PCBs are applicable in vehicles’ fuel injection controllers, airbag systems, and engine control units. Iron-based PCBs are sturdy, long-lasting, and temperature-resistant, which makes them perfect for automotive applications.

2. Aerospace: Iron-based PCBs also apply to avionics, navigation, and flight control systems, among other aerospace applications. Iron-based PCBs are perfect for aircraft applications because they are lightweight and have great electrical and thermal qualities.

3. Medical: Iron-based PCBs suit various electro-medical devices, patient monitoring systems, and medical imaging applications. Because iron-based PCBs are radiation and corrosion-resistant, they are perfect for medical applications.

4. Industrial: Industrial settings like robots, control systems, and factory automation apply Iron base PCBs. These PCBs are excellent for industrial applications because of their outstanding dependability and longevity.

5. Consumer Electronics: Products including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and LED Televisions employ iron-based PCBs. Iron-based PCBs are perfect for consumer electronics because they have good electrical characteristics and are corrosion-resistant.


In conclusion, from the above details, iron-based PCBs are an excellent choice for applications requiring robustness and heat resistance. These eco-friendly PCBs have high thermal conductivity and can withstand high temperatures. They are applicable in automotive, aerospace, and industrial electronic applications. When selecting an iron-based PCB for your application, you must consider the copper thickness and trace width, power dissipation, heat generation, dielectric loss, and thermal expansion. Thus, if you’re in the market for an iron base PCB, remember these considerations, and you’ll strike while the Iron is hot!




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